Coronavirus

Information on the outbreak of coronavirus in China and other affected areas, including the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms.

Below you will find updates from the University regarding the situation as it develops. For the most up-to-date information, staff and students can also visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.  

The recently dated updates below shows the most up-to-date advice. FAQs with useful links can also be found in the menu to the left. 

 


* last updated Wednesday 26 February

Thursday 20 February - Message to students from the Principal

Dear Students, 
 
The outbreak of coronavirus continues to affect much of China, and we are learning of more and more countries with confirmed cases. 

Naturally this is a time of worry – particularly for our staff and students with loved ones in China. 
 
At this time, I wanted to get in touch to remind you all of the support available to you. If you are concerned about relatives or friends back home and this is having an impact on your studies please reach out to your School or visit any of our Student Support Services.
 
The University of Aberdeen has a strong tradition of working with Chinese partners and proudly welcomes hundreds of Chinese students each year, and we will continue to do so. I am saddened to hear of cases of racial harassment in the UK; there is no place for such behaviour in our University, or indeed our society. Inclusiveness is a central pillar of our Aberdeen 2040 strategy. The University of Aberdeen has a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination or harassment and I would urge anyone who experiences this to contact our student support service. 
 
Updates on coronavirus are being shared regularly by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).  On their website you will find the most up-to-date advice for international students, including information on UK Visas and immigration. The University is also monitoring the situation, and will update you as developments arise. 
 
With best wishes, 
George Boyne
Principal & Vice-Chancellor 

Thursday 20 February - Message to staff from the Principal

Dear colleagues,  

The outbreak of coronavirus continues to affect much of China, and we are learning of more and more countries with confirmed cases.

Naturally this is a time of worry – particularly for our staff and students with loved ones in China.

At this time, I wanted to get in touch to remind you all of the support available to both staff and students. If your students are concerned about relatives or friends back home and it is having an impact on their studies please direct them our Student Support Services. Equally, if you have any concerns please contact Sharon Cassidy, HR Partner at this email address sharon.cassidy@abdn.ac.uk.

The University of Aberdeen has a strong tradition of working with Chinese partners and proudly welcomes hundreds of Chinese students each year, and we will continue to do so. I am saddened to hear of cases of racial harassment in the UK; there is no place for such behaviour in our University, or indeed our society. Inclusiveness is a central pillar of our Aberdeen 2040 strategy. The University of Aberdeen has a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination or harassment and I would urge anyone who experiences this to contact our student support service or HR team.

Updates on coronavirus are being shared regularly by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and the Gov.uk website.  On both websites you will find the most up-to-date advice for international students, including information on UK Visas and immigration. The University is also monitoring the situation, and will update you as developments arise.

With best wishes,

George Boyne
Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Update - Friday 31 January - staff communication

Dear colleagues,

There have been a number of updates regarding the outbreak of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. The FCO has confirmed that there are now two confirmed cases of the virus in England, however the risk to UK is still deemed low.

At this time of year it is normal to see an increase in cases of the common cold and flu. NHS advice to combat colds and flu includes:

  • Make sure you are following good hygiene and regularly wash your hands;
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing;
  • Look out for symptoms of a cold, such as a sore throat and blocked nose and take suitable medication to combat these.

If you have travelled to Wuhan City in China in the last 14 days, the FCO is now advising a period of isolation, even if you are showing no symptoms.  This means you should remain at home and should not go to work or public areas, or use public transport or taxis. If you develop respiratory symptoms, seek immediate medical attention by contacting your GP or NHS24 (dial 111).

If you have students who are worried about relatives or loved ones in China or are worried about the impact on their studies, please refer them to the Infohub for further advice – infohub@abdn.ac.uk

The university continues to monitor the situation, and will keep you informed of any developments.

Richard Wells
Vice-Principal International Partnerships

 

* Based on most up-to-date information on Friday 31 January 2020

Update - Thursday 30 January - student communication

Dear Students,


As the situation develops with the outbreak of coronavirus, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all but essential travel to mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao). 

 

The Chinese Government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China and some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so.  

 

If you have travelled to Wuhan City in China in the last 14 days, the FCO is now advising a period of isolation, even if you are showing no symptoms.  This means you should remain at home and should not go to work, school or public areas, or use public transport or taxis.

 

If you develop respiratory symptoms, seek immediate medical attention by contacting your GP or NHS24 (dial 111).

If you are worried about relatives or loved ones back home and it is having an impact on your studies, or you have recently returned from Wuhan City and need to self-isolate and wish to discuss how we can support you to do this alongside your studies, please reach out to your School or visit any of our Student Support Services.

 

Further guidance and advice is available from the following websites:

The University continues to monitor the advice from the FCO regarding the situation in China and will update staff and students accordingly.

 

Nick Edwards
Acting Deputy Director of People & Head of Student Support

Update - Wednesday 29 January - staff communication

Dear colleagues,

As the situation develops with the outbreak of coronavirus, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all but essential travel to mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao). 

The Chinese Government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China and some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so.  

Any travellers returning from China who become unwell particularly with respiratory symptoms within 14 days of their return, are advised to call their GP or phone NHS 111.

Please note that University of Aberdeen travel insurance will be invalid if staff travel to China against the FCO advice. However, if a member of staff has an urgent need to travel to China, they should liaise with the insurance@abdn.ac.uk and their Head of School/Director to discuss this further.

The University continues to monitor the advice from the FCO regarding the situation in China and will update staff and students accordingly. The University has been communicating with students separately with advice regarding the coronavirus.

Should any member of staff or student have any questions or concerns, please send these by email to infohub@abdn.ac.uk.

Please see the below sources for further guidance and advice.

Update - Monday 27 January - student communication

Dear students,

The University continues to monitor the situation relating to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Based on current information, and the fact that no cases have been identified in the UK, the risk to the UK is deemed to be low.

If you have travelled to Wuhan City in China in the last two weeks and feel unwell, call NHS 111 for advice.

At this time of year it is normal to see an increase in cases of the common cold and flu and guidance from the NHS will be useful to ensure you are taking care of yourself during the winter months. This includes:

  • Making sure you are following good hygiene - regularly wash your hands;
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing;
  • Look out for symptoms of a cold, such as a sore throat and blocked nose and take suitable medication to combat these;
  • Rest and eat healthy food.

We recommend that students register with a local GP so you can access healthcare if and when you need it. Details of your local GP surgery where you can register can be found at NHS Inform.

More information on the coronavirus can be found at:

Update - Friday 24 January - staff & student communication

Dear colleagues and students, 

Further to the recent University communication regarding the coronavirus, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all but essential travel to Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. As a precaution, it is advisable to avoid travel to the surrounding cities within the Hubei Province.

Any travellers returning from Wuhan or elsewhere in China who become unwell particularly with respiratory symptoms within 14 days of their return, are advised to call their GP or phone NHS 111.

Please note that University of Aberdeen travel insurance will be invalid if staff travel to Wuhan against the FCO advice. However, if a member of staff has an urgent need to travel to Wuhan they should liaise with the insurance@abdn.ac.uk and their Head of School/Director to discuss this further.

The University continues to monitor the advice from the FCO regarding travel to other areas of China and will share this with staff and students.

As a general reminder, we ask that all staff travelling on University business complete the University of Aberdeen travel insurance application in advance when the travel is booked.

Please see the below sources for further guidance and advice.
 


Professor Richard Wells

Vice-Principal International Partnerships

Update - Thursday 23 January - staff & student communication

Dear colleagues and students,

You may be aware of the developing situation regarding a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China.

No travel restrictions have been announced, but the Chinese authorities have implemented screening of air passengers. The UK government has also provided guidance to people travelling to Wuhan.

Simple and sensible precautions are recommended for those who do travel to Wuhan or locations in its vicinity. These are:

  • check UK Government travel advice before departure and whilst abroad, if possible
  • maintain good basic personal hygiene, especially hand washing and sanitising
  • avoid contact with birds and animals in markets
  • ensure all food is well cooked and avoid using meat bought from markets
  • avoid crowded locations and stay away from anyone coughing, sneezing or showing other signs of respiratory disease

If you develop respiratory symptoms abroad, seek medical advice immediately.

If you have returned to the UK within the last 14 days and you develop respiratory symptoms, contact your doctor (GP) and inform them that you have recently returned from China.

If you are dealing with students who have any concerns, please advise them to contact student.support@abdn.ac.uk

If you have concerns about any students displaying symptoms of respiratory illness, especially students from Asia, advise them to contact their GP immediately. Students are advised to register with an Aberdeen doctor on arrival in the city. They can also use NHS24 to contact the NHS out of hours.

If the advice from the UK Government changes, we will keep you updated.


Best wishes

Nicholas G. Edwards

Acting Deputy Director of People & Head of Student Support